The key to any member directory is creating an active community. Growing your member directory and keeping it engaged forms an important part of your organization’s growth strategy.
Your goal should be to add maximum member value if you want to attract and retain new members.
Different organizations offer all kinds of membership incentives and offers, so you need to make sure your member directory stands out in order for it to be successful.
In this guide, we’ll cover some of the best strategies you can use to draw new members into your community and keep them interested.
Find out how Aluminate Community Builder can help you build your community.
1. Use the Right Platform
The first and most important step to attracting and retaining members is to use the right community platform. Your member directory is a destination, and you need to make sure you provide a convenient space where community members can connect and interact.
Members should have immediate and easy access to the community through the platform. The platform you use should provide a single place where all resources, event information, and networking opportunities exist. A platform with engagement features will also help to keep your community active.
Nobody will be interested in joining your member directory if the platform you use is outdated and not user-friendly.
With a platform like Aluminati, you can create multiple targeted member networks focused on different areas of your community. The platform offers interactive chat messaging for easy community networking, and an interactive member directory to help your community connect with the right people.
Your community platform provides a digital home for all the resources and support that your community needs. As long as you use a platform that offers your members everything they require from the community, you will see a far greater rate of attracting and retaining members.
2. Understand What Your Members Are After
You can’t build a strong community if you don’t serve your members’ interests. Every resource, event, and piece of content you offer your community should be targeted towards their pain points, interests, and needs.
If you don’t put in the effort to understand what your members want to get out of the community, then you won’t be able to build a member directory that offers much value.
You can use data to understand general trends around what your community is interested in. See what areas spark the most conversation and what attracts the most engagement.
Send out surveys to your members and use your community platform to directly engage with your community.
The more you try to meet the needs of your community, the more they will be interested in spending time engaging with your platform and encourage others to do the same.
By offering relevant, valuable content, you will be able to build up a far more engaged community.
3. Start Small With Networks
There’s no need to go too big when putting together your networks, or forum sections. A good strategy is to start small and scale up as your community grows. This makes it easier to manage your community, and it becomes easier to add more value through your networks.
You might want to start with about 6 to 8 sections, and you can steadily add to this as the demand rises.
When you create these networks, don’t focus solely on business. Also, consider more casual conversations to focus on. These networks might make it easier for new members to join and start posting in.
Your aim should be to make conversation and engagement easy from the start, to help attract new members and get them interested in the community.
4. Offer Members-Only Job Boards
People need a reason to join your community, so offering something special like exclusive access to jobs is always a good idea. You could make job listings available to the public, but applications are only available to members. This could provide just enough inspiration for new members to join and engage with the community.
Your association should use its industry connections to offer appealing job listings. This creates a clear benefit to motivate more members to join.
Active job listings are an excellent way to attract and retain your professionals. The opportunity to find new opportunities and advance their careers is one of the main reasons why professionals join community networks.
5. Offer a Range of Virtual Events
Virtual events are incredibly important for community platforms. They are easily accessible for anyone around the globe, and they provide a space where members can learn and engage. By offering a lot of relevant and interesting events, you’ll be able to attract more members and generate more interest around your community.
Virtual events can take a few different forms. There are classic webinars, and also virtual conferences that are more engaging and welcome conversation.
This is achieved through things like discussion threads or Q&A sessions. Use your event platform to engage with users before, during, and after the event.
Your aim should be to add as much value as possible to your community through these events. Events shouldn’t just be a one-way flow of information. Instead, users should be able to find connections through the event, start discussions around the event, and so on.
Go back to understanding your members’ interests and needs, and ensure your virtual events meet these criteria. Events are one of the best ways to add value to your community, and they can be a major factor in why members join and stay connected.
6. Post Engaging Content Often
This is quite a straightforward idea, but it’s something that many communities don’t put enough effort into.
Your members find value in the content that your organization posts and they want to see this content frequently. Make sure that you post regular content that is relevant and interesting to your community.
Create varied, engaging content, and publish this often.
Think about how you can offer different forms of content and release this through different channels. Don’t only focus on an email newsletter, as this could quickly lower your engagement levels.
Vary the platforms that your content is presented on to keep your members interested. Your goal should be to make sure you send out exactly what your audience wants to see.
Finally, release this content often. A consistent flow of information will help you add sustained value to your community that helps your members stay interested in the community.
7. Offer Mentoring Programs
Another great way to add value to your community is through mentorship programs. Many people look towards community spaces to find mentors and improve their networking opportunities.
Offering an online mentoring program through your community allows mentors and mentees to connect with each other.
This is a great way to encourage networking and professional development through your membership platform to help you build a bigger, more engaged community.
As long as you use an effective platform and add enough relevant value, you’ll be able to build a strong member directory with an active community. With the right strategies, this is easy to achieve.
Make sure your members feel like they’re getting enough value and benefits from the community so that they stay active and your community continues to grow.